Where's the Trail in Montana and
The Continental Divide Trail is approximately 800 miles in
length in Montana and Idaho. The Forest Service, in consultation with the
Society and other interested parties, completed its route selection process and
dedicated the initial segment of the CDT in 1989. Since that time, several new
segments have been constructed, and the few remaining portions are under
contract or study.
The segments of the route, as described in
Guide to the
Continental Divide Trail, are:
Glacier National Park.
Spectacular mountain scenery. Excellent trail system in place. Camping permits
Bob Marshall Wilderness.
A fine wilderness experience, featuring the great limestone cliffs of the
Chinese Wall. Excellent trail system in place. Some grizzlies.
Includes both ridgetop and valley experiences. Lewis and Clark Pass was on
return route of Captain Lewis in 1806. With recent trail construction, route
is in very good condition.
Helena Segment. Less
rugged country, mostly forested. The route is generally quite good, though
with roaded portions, south to the Butte area.
Butte Segment. The current
route, circling to the south of Butte, is largely on roads and ATV trails; but
new nonmotorized paths are to be constructed in the next few years.
Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness . The extremities of this Segment are roaded, but the
midsection uses fine pack trails that criss-cross the Continental Divide,
passing delightful mountain-rimmed lakes on the way.
Big Hole Segment.
An outstanding portion of the route, along the Montana-Idaho boundary, with
mountains of grandeur as well as several lakes.
The Trail here has a different character -- predominantly grassland instead of
forest. The route is often on the crest of the Continental Divide, with fine
vistas as well as plentiful wildlife. The Trail, though marked with posts, is
not always easy to follow.
- Centennial Mountains.
Recent trail construction has improved this portion, though some stretches
along road remain. The official route circles around the north
end of Henrys Lake, but our recommendation is to descend to Macks Inn, Idaho.
here to view a map of the Trail
in Montana and Idaho.
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